"This actually dates back to July 18, but has somehow gotten nearly zero coverage in the MSM, somewhat like Bill Clinton's argument that the debt ceiling is unconstitutional, something that Obama's press secretary seemed to move him away from agreeing with this past Monday. In any case, one link to the declaration by Moody's that the US should abolish the debt ceiling is at http://economicsnewspaper.com/policy/german/moodys-u-s-should-abolish-debt-limit-47142.html. That Moody's has threatened to downgrade the US credit rating has received a lot of attention, but this piece of their threat has somehow been completely ignored, and so far there are exactly zero members of Congress of either party who have even remotely suggested that we do what Moody's suggests, which is clearly what needs to be done.
I remind everyone again: no other nation in world history has ever had such a ridiculous thing as a nominal debt ceiling. Whether or not it is unconstitutional, it is utterly incoherent. It forces the president to break the law if Congress neither raises the ceiling nor prescribes which bills are to be paid on time (if at all). I find it bizarre that all sorts of people are loudly declaring how the president has no authority raise the debt ceiling but somehow has the authority to "prioritize" which bills will be paid and which will not, meaning that somehow it is his responsibility rather than Congress's to actually destroy the "full faith and credit of the United States" that is demanded by the Constitution. Again, not paying legally mandated bills is a default, not just a failure to pay interest on securities on time."
The bolded point is precisely the one I made, which Brad DeLong shared here. I had written: "I personally don't see why we have to make this complicated as even a 14th amendment issue. Obama has conflicting legislation: he is told what revenue to raise, he is told what money to spend, and he is told what debt to issue. Congress can't legislate arithmetic - Obama HAS to break one of these laws. For me it's not some sneaky Constitutional measure. It's a matter of following the laws that Congress has the clearest authority to pass first: appropriation acts and revenue acts."
My one concern is that if Obama does go forward and just follows the revenue and approriations act that Congress gives him (because he has to break one law and the debt limit is on the shakiest Constitutional grounds and was passed earlier than the appropriations and revenue bills if I'm not mistaken) then the idiots who already think he's a tyrant are going to go nuts, which is something we want to avoid.
The impossibility of true utilitarianism
3 hours ago